The first blog in a series of interviews about the values which underpin the Cosy Cottage brand, content writer Millie Douce interviewed our founder Clara about some of the principles associated with Ethical Manufacturing.
‘Without labour nothing prospers’ – Sophocles
Why did you choose that quotation?
For me, the quote encapsulates the hypothesis, that giving people work, enabling them to use their talents, creates a sense of dignity. Across a population, this sense of dignity enhances wellbeing and ultimately creates a positive society.
How do you see this fitting into modern day life?
Large commercial businesses have a duty to their shareholders, so understandably, they’re always thinking about profit, to keep shareholders happy. To drive profits, commercial organisations frequently cut staff costs; a direct conflict with providing jobs and work for people. Also relentless focus on productivity and mass automation of jobs, plus the constant threat of downsizing initiatives create a real conflict with workers’ self-worth.
So how do independent companies like Cosy Cottage Soap create positive change in this climate?
The great thing about ethical independents is that there are no major shareholders on a relentless quest for profit. A positive commitment to creating opportunities and being selective about automation is possible.
There’s a groundswell against large corporations at the moment, which is fascinating and refreshing. There’s a real surge of non-corporation entities too, which is really exciting, as it has the potential to create many more opportunities for people and hopefully move us towards a new and better way of living.
Tell me more about these opportunities in the pipeline for Cosy Cottage Soap…
We’re constantly innovating here at Cosy Cottage. We’re always looking at ways to market our existing products and invent brand new ones. We’re committed too to providing opportunities for a diverse workforce.
For example, we’ve recently partnered up with The Croft, which is part of Camphill Village Trust. The Croft is based in Malton, like us, and do a fantastic job of organising supported work opportunities and enterprises for their residents. These enterprises now include manufacturing on behalf of Cosy Cottage. We love helping local people thrive and are excited to have launched two brand new, exclusive products with the trust.
What do you enjoy most about working at Cosy Cottage Soap?
It has to be the opportunity to make positive change. As part of that, I’m committed to sustaining a people-led workforce. Selective automation makes Cosy Cottage a low energy consumer and very climate-friendly but equally important is that we are able to give a broad range of people a chance within the workforce; full time, part time, onsite or working remotely; from students right up to those in their late 80s, like Beryl who wraps our soaps from home!